I finally managed to get to the point where the team begins investigating and it only took 6700 words to get there!!! On my old MeWe group I used to leave excerpts from the bigger sections I finished. It’s hard to find one that isn’t a spoiler for the mystery.
Since this is Twee’s book as much as anyone’s, here she is interrupting Hunt and Natani in his office:
Two sharp raps on the door and it opened. Carol Twee descended on Hunter’s desk like a roiling, earthbound thunderhead. “CIFS didn’t send these remains. But you already know that, don’t you, Lieutenant?”
He waited for her to go on.
“This is a teen-ager somebody murdered. I’ll need that box back and anything else that came with it. And I’ll need a report with case number.”
Hunter sat back. “I haven’t decided yet what we’re doing.”
“No, Lieutenant. This is my call as the CSS responsible for the remains and evidence given into my custody.”
He ignored that. “I’ll let you know when I’ve come to a decision.”
“Did you not hear me?” Her arm shot out, index finger stabbing the air like an obsidian blade. “I decide, as always. Either we take this case or I’ll go work for the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
“They do good work. You’d be a real asset,” he said.
“I’m not bluffing, Lieutenant.” Her arm dropped but her pixie face was stone.
“Are you tendering your resignation?”
“I’m saying I will leave if you don’t do something about this case.”
“I heard you,” He picked up his pen and jotted the date and time and her name on a notepad. “What made you decide I’d be open to threats and intimidation?”
“Will you pay attention?” She now pointed at the wall through which the remains waited on the low table. “Somebody figured out she was mis-categorized. Somebody else dropped a ball the size of the Ganymede on this case. This nameless black child is not going to be tossed away like inconvenient trash for being a political football!”
“Not the topic,” Hunter said. “The topic is: are you part of the Unit or are you leaving? There are no personal agendas here. The team shares a commitment to duty and excellence. We work for the City and County of Denver, not ourselves.”
He got a text alert and glanced at his phone. “I have work to do,” he said. “You came in here with an ultimatum. You can resign or recommit to the Unit and go back to work. I can’t wait all day for you to decide, Technician, what’s it going to be?”
She fumed for several seconds. “Fuck you, Hunter.”
“I take it that since we’re on a first-name basis again, you’re staying?”
She slammed out the door.